“My name is Olivia Henry, and I am addicted to friendship!” Not gonna lie, not exactly the best first line of a novel. Sort of makes you think it’ll be about flying unicorns who burp fairy dust and fart rainbows. However, not only do we have no unicorns in sight, but we’ve got people dying all over the place. Car accidents, and a plethora of different cancers abound.
What’s it about?
When Olivia gets news of her best friend Dan’s fatal car accident, her life is shattered. Consumed with grief and struggling to find any meaning or purpose to life, she trudges along with a gaping void in her heart. Finally, when her frustration reaches its peak, Olivia decides to put her trust in the depth of friendship the two of them shared. That trust finally allows him to breakthrough to her, and Dan begins to guide Olivia through the twists and turns of her life, leading to something new and entirely unexpected.
When Olivia exposes a gigantic internal scandal at work, her career implodes. With no job and nowhere to turn, she escapes to Palm Springs for the sympathy and care of her beloved cousin, Garrett. However, with only weeks left before the opening of his newest store, “Gin and Tonic,” Garrett isn’t quite the comfort Olivia had expected. She yet again tries to find her way, and in the process meets someone who begins to fill that void in her heart. She’s never before experienced a love like this; it heals her soul and rekindles her spirit – and just may have been the design of her dearly departed friend all along.
Beyond Believing follows the lives of two different people, Olivia and Finn. Although they’re strangers, their lives are linked by loved ones they’ve lost. Olivia’s best friend Dan died in a car accident, and to deal with this unexpected loss she speaks to him, and looks for signs from him to guide her through life. On the other side of the world, Finn lost his wife Christine to cancer, and he also seeks her guidance in the form of signs. Eventually, both Olivia and Finn are brought together by following these signs.
I’ll admit, at first I was worried that this book would heavily feature a paranormal aspect, but instead it’s an emotional and realistic look at how people deal with loss. Both Olivia and Finn look for signs from their loved ones, but these signs aren’t paranormal in nature. It might be something as simple as a song on the radio, but it helps them to move on thinking that those they care about are still watching over them.
Just Meet Already!
Throughout the entirety of the book you are just waiting for Olivia and Finn to meet. Again, their lives are linked in many ways, the most important of which is that her friend Dan and his wife Christine were friends in college. Major events in their lives slowly bring Olivia and Finn closer and closer together, but it isn’t until about 70% of the way through the book that they finally have their meet cute. In my opinion it was a tad overdue.
By a tad overdue, I mean crazy overdue. Firstly, the majority of the book is extremely depressing. Practically every other character gets some form of cancer. It isn’t until our lovebirds meet that we finally get to feel some warm and fuzzies, and even have a few laughs. There is also a decent amount of neck nuzzling and steamy hot tub escapades. Secondly, by waiting until almost 3/4 of the book is done for them to meet, we don’t really get a whole lot of time to connect with Olivia and Finn as a couple. They basically fall in love in the span of about 3 dates. Don’t you at least want to find out if he prefers Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth’s before making that kind of commitment?
Series: Beyond series, book 1
Should you read it? It’s a very emotional read, so be sure to have a happy Disney movie on hand for when you finish it. It is a good story though which shows how people cope with grief and the loss of loved ones.
Smut Level: Not much in the way of smut. However, we do have the perfect male specimen in the form of Finn. Not only does he have a sexy Scottish accent, but the man cooks! Stand back ladies (and gents), he’s mine!
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $15.00 Kindle Price. Next Century Publishing. 248 Pages.